FOB Tacoma

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Archives: Oct. 2010

Oct.
29th

Lewis-McChord airmen head back to the South Pole for Operation Deep Freeze

Big planes are heading back to the ice as airmen from Joint Base Lewis-McChord run flights to supply researchers at the National Science Foundation’s Antarctica operations.

Pilots and loadsmen from Lewis-McChord’s 62nd Airlift Wing and 446th Airlift Wing are regulars on annual missions for Operation Deep Freeze. Their marquee plane – the C17 Globemaster – has been delivering supplies to Antarctica since 1999. This year, the mission is expected to take place from Sept. 26 through February 24.

“This is my favorite mission,” Lt. Colonel Christopher Von Thaden told an Air Force public affairs writer. “We

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Oct.
29th

Researchers at Lewis-McChord build smart phone app to help monitor ptsd, brain injuries

The Defense Department this week put a spotlight on the T2 Mood Tracker, a new smart phone application developed at Joint Base Lewis McChord to help soldiers and veterans track their emotions.

It’s a tool that’s intended to help service members monitor their own moods so they can report their findings to therapists, or create routines to address common responses to combat, like post traumatic stress.

“The very first question a doctor or a therapist asks is ‘How have you been doing since I saw you last?’ Everything that follows is based on that answer,” said

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Oct.
28th

Lewis-McChord pilots get injured NYT photographer from battlefield to hospital

A reserve aircrew stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord last week lifted a wounded New York Times photographer from Afghanistan to a military hospital in Germany, where he was treated for injuries he suffered when a land mine exploded  while he was documenting an Army unit in Kandahar.

The C-17 Globemaster III Reserve aircrew arrived at Bagram Airfield Oct. 24 on a mission delivering equipment from the Army’s 10th Combat Aviation Brigade. Joao Silva, the photographer, was injured four hours later.

Silva kept shooting his camera after the explosion, according to the Air Force and accounts in the New

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Oct.
27th

Family, friend look back at deadly Stryker attack

A close friend of one seven Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers killed in a single attack against a Stryker a year ago in Afghanistan recounted the assault for a report today on Northwest public radio stations. It was the deadliest attack against a Stryker in the war.

Sgt. Nick Saucier of the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division witnessed the attack, and he told the Northwest News Network’s Austin Jenkins that his first thought was hoping his friend Sgt. Dale Griffin was all right.

As Jenkins reports:

“But Dale Griffin was dead. Saucier describes how he said goodbye to his

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Oct.
26th

Soldier awaiting trial has seizure; mother raises concerns about his health

One of the soldiers awaiting trial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord to face charges that he helped kill civilians during his deployment to southern Afghanistan suffered a seizure during a consultation with his attorney yesterday.

Pfc. Andrew Holmes, 20, is the youngest of five soldiers from the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division accused of murdering civilians. He denies the charges, and contends he was not aware of a conspiracy in his platoon to kill civilians.

Holmes was at Lewis-McChord’s trial defense service office when he suffered the seizure. His health is a prime concern for his family, who told

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Oct.
25th

Deaths of JBLM soldiers described in WikiLeaks reports

Casualty reports describing the deaths of dozens of Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers can be found in hundreds of thousands of pages of classified Iraq war documents published last weekend by WikiLeaks.

The reports are immediate accounts of daily events in Iraq between 2004 and 2010. They’re quick and dirty, and will not reveal much new information to families who have received final investigations into the deaths of their loved ones from the Defense Department.

They reflect a constant grind for soldiers seeking out improvised explosive devices, drawing contact from insurgents and executing raids.

Here are some of examples

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Oct.
22nd

JBLM soldiers roll out for community projects

Look out for the guy in camouflage cleaning up Highway 5 tomorrow. He’s going to have lots of company on the road, and at other community service projects around the South Sound today and Saturday.

They’re rolling out to the cities surrounding Joint Base Lewis-McChord to participate in Make a Difference Day.

The projects range from clean-up work on Highway 5 to trail maintenance at Farrell Marsh Park in Steilacoom.

Here’s a look at some of the places where you might see JBLM soldiers:

– Farrell Marsh Park: Fifteen soldiers from the 42nd Military Police Brigade are renovating walking trails

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Oct.
22nd

Not all were aware of drug use in Stryker platoon

Several soldiers at yesterday’s pre-trial hearing for Staff Sgt. David Bram at Joint Base Lewis-McChord testified that they weren’t aware of drug use in their platoon until word got out that Pfc. Justin Stoner had raised concerns about his comrades smoking hashish in a room he shared with a specialist.

That’s despite the relatively close group of housing units where the soldiers lived at Forward Operating Base Ramrod in southern Afghanistan.

Sgt. Michael Hefter was in a squad that reported to Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, who allegedly devised schemes to kill Afghan civilians during his deployment this year

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